Archive for September, 2013

Fountain girls!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Amy observed in August that we haven’t posted any girl photos in ages. It took a few weeks, but thankfully, Bill was able to resolve the hard drive issue in our home server, and I have not yet identified any missing content.

In the meantime, I also acquired a big, beautiful monitor for working with digital photos. It’s my first desktop monitor in more than a decade, and I love it. All I need now, is more rest and spare time to upload photos.

In the meantime, here’s a pair of photos I really like. For September, we did “birthday photos” at Super Slidey Park on West Gray. It was really, really hot, and the girls enjoyed refreshing themselves at (in) the water fountain. (As always, click for larger)

Cate and Sam couldn’t wait to use the water fountain



Samanthaism #16: Hoh-kay

Monday, September 9th, 2013

In the last few weeks, Sam has become much more verbal. However, she’s still learning to enunciate, which means we don’t always understand what she’s trying to say.

To compensate, we’re using “active listening” techniques to validate our understanding. Whenever Sam says something, we repeat what we heard her say to confirm her meaning.

Some of the time, Sam simply replies, “Si,” to affirm that we got what she said. But sometimes — especially when she’s requesting something good — Sam interprets the question instead as an offer, and accepts it with a delighted smile and a breathy, “hoh-kay!” For example:

I ask, “Did you say that you want to switch shoes with Cate?”
Sam agrees, “hoh-kay.”

I ask, “Did you say you want some of Mama’s eggs?”
Sam agrees, “hoh-kay.”

I ask, “Did you say that you’d like to go swim at the pool?”
Sam replies with, “hoh-kay!”

Her “hoh-kay”s are self-serving, but adorable nonetheless!

Catherineism #16: Cate see, please?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

I’m feeling motivated by our recent weekend bike adventures, and wanted to get some (cardio) exercise Monday. After breakfast, instead of packing up and driving the four of us out somewhere, I put the girls in the Bumbleride stroller and pushed them to Super Slidey Park. It’s only 0.66 miles from here to there, but pushing the stroller with ~50 pounds of girls felt like work.

I gave Nane the keys to my Odyssey and sent her ahead to the park. I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d be up for the return haul afterward, and I wanted to be sure we’d get the girls home fast enough that they wouldn’t fall asleep en route.

Incidentally, we met a delightful Ukrainian mom, named Karina. Her son, Sebastian, was born the day after Sam and Cate, on Oct 12th.

When we were ready to come home, I asked Nane to go ahead and drive us home again, and I sat in back with the girls for a change. By the time we pottied inside and left the park, Sam and Cate were both hungry. Cate asked for, “Os, please.”

Initially, I told her that we would have snack in a few minutes when we got home. But Cate insisted, “Os car, please.” So I opened the container of Cheerios and gave each girl one handful, and then another.

Cate then asked for, “Pasas, please” because she enjoys raisins even more than cereal. By this time, we were within a few blocks of home, so I told Cate, “No, we’re having Os in the car. We can have pasas when we get home.”

Cate insisted, “Pasas, please, now!” I offered her a third handful of Os and replied, “Here: Os are what I have.”

Cate then looked at me skeptically and said, “Cate see diaper bag, please.”

Ha! At the time, I had to laugh. But it’s becoming clear that we are screwed.

Catherineism #15: Hey, Mom!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Sometime earlier this year, after the girls learned to stand on their own, and after we started sleep learning, they got into the habit of pooing at nap time. Cate, in particular, continues to have a knack for waiting until after we’ve tucked her in to stand up in her bed and poo in her diaper.

Early on, Cate would cry to alert us that she needed a new diaper. But as she’s grown more verbal, and as she’s ascertained more of what goes on around here, the pattern has changed.

At some point, we showed the video monitor to the girls, and explained that we could see them even when we weren’t in the room. Around the same time, Cate stopped crying for a diaper change.

Instead, she’d just stand in her crib quietly and wait for some adult to notice and come change her diaper. I like to monitor the room audio closely until I’m sure they’re both asleep. I look at the video only occasionally, and three times, I found Cate standing quietly waiting for a diaper.

Finally, I encouraged her to please call out and let us know so that we could come help more promptly. I also gave her some examples of what that might sound like.

Tuesday morning, she took my suggestion. I had left girls in beds and was thinking about showering. Nane was in the kitchen, and Bill was in the office. Suddenly, Cate hollered out:

“Hey, Mom! Cate change poo!”

She was loud enough and clear enough that not only did Nane hear her on the monitor, but also I heard Cate clearly from the next room!

Samanthaism #15: Hey, Dad!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I’ve read about calm parents who manage to raise quiet, mild-mannered children. Several of our friends are remarkably soft-spoken with their children, who seem in turn to be pleasantly quiet.

If I ever thought we might manage to achieve that, I’m getting over it rapidly. It turns out that I’m loud. When I’m sitting in the kitchen with the girls, I routinely holler at Dad around the corner in the office.

And now, the girls do, too. Over the last few weeks, both girls have practiced calling to Dad, working their way from a quiet request up to a full-throated yell.

Now, when Sam calls out, “Hey Dad! Come join us!” Daddy Bill calls back, “Hey Sam! I’m coming!” And it makes her very happy.

POSTSCRIPT: I’ve thought further about why the girls phrase calling for Dad this way, because while I often call, “Hey, Dad,” I’m usually more topical. On reflection, I think they’re channeling Sandra Boynton’s But not the hippopotamus:

“The animal pack came scurrying back
saying, Hey! Come join the lot of us!”